Oct 10, 2015 - 1:03 PM - by garyopa
Ever since Phil took over as the head of Xbox the Xbox One has improved in overall sales performance
While Spencer has been good about including the community when working to improve the XB1 and building sales, the console still trails considerably behind PS4 and he isn't sure Xbox can close the gap.
As you might have heard recently the rumors that Sony PlayStation 4 is going down to $349, in fact it already been in effect for 24 hours now, the new price, and with the lower price and the big lead Sony has already, Microsoft is starting to show signs they are worried, even tho they have clearly the much better bigger line-up this Holiday would about future years, analysts are predicting by the end of this generation the PlayStation 4 will be ahead by over 25 million units compared to the lifetime sales of the Xbox One console.
Personally, I think for Xbox One to win this next-gen they need 'cheaper' games figure out a way with their studios and developers to have its games priced at $49 tops, and to cut the price of Xbox Live down to like $4.99 per month, and bundle in the first year for free with the $349 console, and bang you will see 'holiday' sales go off like a rocket this year, which would greatly help close the gap.
In an interview at the GeekWire Summit (see video below), Spencer took almost half an hour to talk about where Xbox has been and where it is going. One of the the primary talking points of the past was the initial launch fiasco, where Spencer candidly talks about how Microsoft was making a console for themselves, not the gaming community, and it lead to a lot of aggression from Xbox's loyal fan-base.
Around the twelve minute mark, things get interesting with a more pointed question posed for Spencer. When asked if the Xbox One can beat Sony's PS4, Spencer responds with: "I don't know. The length of the generation... they [Sony] have a huge lead and they have a good product". It's clear that Spencer and the team supporting the Xbox One are not living in a fantasy world where a ten million unit sales gap is an easy thing to fix.
Spencer drives home the fact that Xbox cannot win without quality games, not just cool console bundles. Spencer repeatedly touches on games like Halo 5 and Minecraft and how they are crucial for Xbox One growth and an active user base. Microsoft will need to leverage every advantage it has by the end of the year since the PS4 is matching the $349 price point of the Xbox One in the U.S. going into the holiday season. Whether or not the Xbox One is #1 on the charts, any growth of the brand during its reign will be looked at as a success by Microsoft.
So after watching the 'video' below, do you think Microsoft is worried, could they end up bringing out an Xbox Two early before Sony's PlayStation 5, or would be yet another mistake, or should Microsoft just hit Sony with the 'bottomline' and cut the Xbox One price down to $299.
NEWS SOURCE: Phil Spencer is not sure if the Xbox One can catch the PS4 (via) NeoWin
Oct 10, 2015 - 11:36 AM - by garyopa
Only a low crappy 720p on Xbox One, but nice clear 900p on PlayStation 4, and an awesome 1440p on PC
Star Wars: Battlefront looks good on all three platforms it’s launching on, even in its public beta incarnation. But you won’t find resolution parity across consoles and PC, and that’s a real issue.
So Star Wars is just around the corner, and the big new Battlefront is finally almost here for our next-gen consoles and PC's, and sadly the early pre-views are causing the whole #ResolutionGate debate again, with Sony fanboys attacking the Xbox One sites with their nasty comments that the XB1 version only gets 720p, whereas they have 900p, and vice-versa with Xbox One owners attacking developers for not caring about the their console, and supporting PlayStation instead, but the real thing is as Erik from Forbes points out below there is really 'There's No Excuse For 'Star Wars: Battlefront' To Run At 720p On Xbox One', and as you read his comments below, he mainly points the finger at Microsoft for making an crappy console, and not blaming the DICE developers.
So what do you think about the whole debate, is it the developers or the Xbox that is the problem, and is it too much to ask for our new consoles to perform better then the previous generation or are we as consumers demanding too much, personally I getting tried of this debate, but it will never end until all games run at 1080p/60fps for all platforms, and there is not even a single game below that, but I don't think we will see it this generation, even the PlayStation 4 has shown already it can't... [Read More]
While PS4 runs at a respectable 900p, but that's only respectable in comparison to the Xbox One which only manages a meager 720p. That's crazy.
Unlike my colleague Jason Evangelho, for me this means PC is the natural choice. Jason is right when he says that Star Wars: Battlefront looks great on PS4. It looks really phenomenal. But on my PC I can play in 1440p resolution, which is quite a lot higher than what we're getting on PS4 and a reasonable mid-point between 1080p and 4K.
Jason also says he prefers the PS4 gamepad to mouse-and-keyboard to which I can only say: What? Heathen! I can get by with a gamepad, and I use them all the time on PC for action games, but mouse-and-keyboard is the way to go for first-person-shooters.
But I digress. The real point here is that while we have a great looking game, it's being hobbled once again on consoles. Sure, some games this gen have probably looked better on PS4 than on PC (Batman: Arkham Knight anybody?) but that's not because PC is inferior. Far from it. The current-gen consoles are weaker than they should be, and we're reminded of this time and again especially on Xbox One.
Furthermore, PC has more options when it comes to graphics settings and controls. Sure, there were problems with the Origin servers on day one of the beta, but those are all resolved now. The benefits of playing on a PC far outweigh the cons.Recommended by Forbes
That may be beside the point, however. And that is, it's time for console manufacturers to lead the charge in terms of gaming technology, not slouch along in the rear. Consoles are the big dogs, and they should be the vanguard of gaming tech. Maybe they can't match PCs since PC components are being improved so rapidly, but they can at least meet the basic expectations of modern gamers. They should exceed those expectations, and usher in video games' future.
There's no excuse for 720p on Xbox One. I'm not wagging a finger at developer DICE here either. They can't work magic. They work within the hardware confinements they have. But Microsoft should make horsepower a priority as they design their next system. Not peripheral gimmicks like the Kinect or social sharing tech or anything like that. Content and power, plain and simple.
At least the frame-rate is pretty steady across all platforms, but even here the Xbox One struggles compared to the PS4 and anyone running a half-decent PC.
There are advantages to console gaming. Convenience. The couch. Split-screen. Playing split-screen on the couch with friends. All that jazz. But we should still expect the bare minimum in graphics power from these huge corporate manufacturers. It's not asking that much. And while people really do freak out too much over this-we all recall #ResolutionGate-it's not unreasonable to expect consoles to at least match the power of modern-day PCs.
Oct 06, 2015 - 2:21 PM - by garyopa
Nordic Games and Gunfire Games unleash Death just in time for Halloween for Xbox One & PlayStation 4
Death arrives just in time for Halloween! Join the riders of the apocalypse on October 27th, as Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition comes to PS4 and Xbox One.
It is time to get back to the world of Darksiders, as the Deathinitive Edition is coming out soon for our next-gen consoles.
... [Read More]
Nordic Games today announced that the Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition will release worldwide on October 27th 2015 - boxed and digital - at a price point of USD/EUR 29.99 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
"It's rare that as developers we get the opportunity to revisit one of our previous games. The passage
of time and the numerous games we've worked on since Darksiders II shipped has allowed us to return to it with a fresh perspective. With that said, we went back to what is a huge game and addressed things we didn't have time for or didn't notice the first time. We started by revisiting every asset in the game, increasing the texture resolutions and brought the art up to spec to take full advantage of the new lighting and rendering. Darksiders II has a lot of DLC in the form of weapons, armor and unique locations. These pieces of DLC which felt separate from the main campaign have now been integrated into the game and rebalanced accordingly. Lastly, we've addressed much of the feedback we received after the game's release in regards to balance and bugs. With all these changes, this is truly the Definitive Edition of Darksiders II."
-John Pearl, Design Director, Gunfire Games
Furthermore, Gunfire Games - with special guests from Airship Syndicate (Joe Madureira, Ryan Stefanelli) - will host a streaming event of Darksiders II at 3pm EST tomorrow, October 6th 2015 at www.twitch.tv/gunfire_games
The Deathinitive Edition will be a visually updated version of Darksiders II, including all DLCs (Maker Armor Set, The Abyssal Forge, The Demon Lord Belial, Death Rides, Angel of Death, Deadly Despair, Shadow of Death, Mortis Pack, Rusanov's Axe, Van Der Schmash Hammer, Fletcher's Crow Hammer, Mace Maximus, Argul's Tomb) and running in native 1080p resolution. In addition to the graphic upgrade, adjustments to the game balancing and loot distribution have been made. The entire project is in the experienced hands of Gunfire Games, where nearly all staffers have already been working at Vigil Games and on Darksiders in the past.
About Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition:
What starts with War, ends with Death.
Awakened by the End of Days, Death, the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen, embarks upon a quest to restore mankind, and redeem his brother's name. Along the way, the Horseman discovers that there are far worse things than an earthly apocalypse, and that an ancient grudge may threaten all of Creation...
- Play Death: Become the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen, able to destroy entire worlds and battle forces beyond Heaven and Hell
- Epic Universe: Unlike anything the player has seen before, delivered in the unique style of Joe Mad
- Heaven/Hell: Explore startling gameworld environments reminiscent of heaven and hell
- Player Choice & Customization: Customize your experience with varied armor sets, weapons, and skill trees allowing players to create their own Death
- Replay-ability: Explore a vast open world, complete dozens of side quests and customize your Death with a full leveling system, skill trees and endless equipment combinations
- Traversal: Death is a nimble and agile character capable of incredible acrobatic feats allowing the player to explore the world like never before
- Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition Features:
- Darksiders II with All DLCs* included and integrated into the game, offering a total playtime of more than 30 hours
- *(Maker Armor Set, The Abyssal Forge, The Demon Lord Belial, Death Rides, Angel of Death, Deadly Despair, Shadow of Death, Mortis Pack, Rusanov's Axe, Van Der Schmash Hammer, Fletcher's Crow Hammer, Mace Maximus, Argul's Tomb)
- Improved Graphic
Oct 06, 2015 - 12:53 PM - by garyopa
Veteran Comedy Director Jonathan Krisel Directs the Brand New Spot
GUITAR HERO® LIVE PITS JAMES FRANCO AGAINST LENNY KRAVITZ IN AN EPIC ROCK BATTLE WITH THE PREMIERE OF THE 'WIN THE CROWD' LIVE-ACTION TRAILER
Activision is gearing up for the big release of the first new Guitar Hero is years for our new consoles, and as such time for a 'live-action' trailer, as that is all the rage these days for new releases.
So what do you think, will you be joining the crowd and start air-guitar'ing thru all the oldies and greats of today on your console?
With just a couple weeks to go until the highly-anticipated return of Guitar Hero, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) is kicking off the launch for Guitar Hero Live with the release of a new live action trailer starring James Franco and Lenny Kravitz. Helmed by director Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia, SNL), the "Win the Crowd" video features the hilarious actor and the legendary rock-star going head-to-head to see who truly is the king of the music festival circuit in Guitar Hero Live. The trailer features Kravitz' hit track "Are You Gonna Go My Way," which will also be playable in the game. The full :90 second version of the video is live now. The start of the campaign sets the stage for the release of Guitar Hero Live, which marks the beginning of a new era in music games and introduces two exciting new ways to play the game: GH Live, in which you play in-front of real crowds who react to your performance, and GHTV, the world's first playable music video network.
"Guitar Hero Live gives you the chance to live out your rock star fantasy in front of a real audience that reacts to how you play, so watching James Franco and Lenny Kravitz challenging each other to win the crowd in the game brought that excitement to life in a really cool way,"
said Tim Ellis, CMO, Activision Publishing, Inc. "Some of the best moments captured on film were purely spontaneous between James and Lenny. They had great chemistry and had a lot of fun with the game. We just let them loose."
Guitar Hero Live includes two all-new modes, including a first-person point of view where you are up on stage as the star of the show. A quantum leap forward in immersion and realism, GH Live is a live-action experience that delivers the full emotional roller coaster of being on stage, with players performing in a real band, in front of real crowds, who react in real time to how well or poorly you play. The game also includes GHTV, a revolutionary new way to play Guitar Hero. The 24-hour playable music video network lets fans play along to a continually-updated collection of official videos, from the newest releases to favourite hits. GHTV is a living, breathing platform that will continue to grow, serving as an ever-expanding source for music discovery while bringing the party atmosphere back to the living room.
Guitar Hero Live will be available nationwide on 23rd October on PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii UTM console as well as iOS devices including iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. For more information, please visit http://www.guitarhero.com
, or follow @guitarhero on Twitter and Instagram.
Our thanks to 'Mathieu Bitton' for the his amazing photo which we used in this news item!
Oct 05, 2015 - 12:11 PM - by garyopa
M$ is willing to license it back to Sony, EA, Activision for of course some 'cash'!
Redmond-based technology major Microsoft has acquired Irish video game engine and 3D physics provider Havok from American chip-maker Intel.
Microsoft is adding more 'gaming power' to their Xbox, by buying up Havok from Intel, but don't worry even tho Microsoft now owns all exclusive rights, patents to the popular 3D Game Engine they are not holding it for just themselves and the Xbox One console, they willing to 'license' it out for other gaming companies like Sony, EA, Activsion that have used the engine in the past for their games.
So what do you think of Microsoft buying up Havok, and will it help improve their games like what been shown in 'Crackdown 3' already, and why do you think they willing to 'license' it out to their rivals like Sony instead of keeping it totally exclusive to themselves.
"Havok is an amazing technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real-time physics creator. We saw an opportunity to acquire Havok to deliver great experiences for our fans,"
Microsoft said in a blog post.
Havok, whose business model involves licensing its physics technology to developers, was founded in 1998 in Dublin before being purchased by Intel in 2007 to accelerate its play in the gaming market.
Although the technology major did not give out any details about the acquisition, it said: "Microsoft's acquisition of Havok continues our tradition of empowering developers by providing them with the tools to unleash their creativity to the world."
"We will continue to innovate for the benefit of development partners. Part of this innovation will include building the most complete cloud service, which we've just started to show through games like 'Crackdown 3',"
Havok has previously partnered with Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and many others to create more than 600 games including Halo, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Destiny, Dark Souls and The Elder Scrolls.
It also contributed in developing special effects in movies like "The Matrix" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
NEWS SOURCE: Microsoft buys video game engine Havok from Intel (via) IndiaTimes
Oct 05, 2015 - 10:16 AM - by garyopa
Microsoft joins Sony in offering the much requested feature for FREE saving gamers in spending $150.
Remappable controls—a feature previously thought to be exclusive to Microsoft's upcoming £129 ($150) Elite controller—are coming to all Xbox One gamepads as one of many features in the November Update
For those hating where X is compare to A and so-on, you no longer have to worry that you going to have to spend that $150 more for an Elite controller, as Microsoft has recently announced that 'button-remapping' will be coming to all their gamepads not just the Elite one.
So far we don't know if its coming in November update or not, so for those not willing to wait, and have the cash to spare you can grab the Elite Controller as early as next week, if 'button-remapping' is your gamer thing.
Microsoft has said. The feature will allow Xbox users to reassign the buttons on their controller to their liking, including swapping around the placement of buttons like A and B. Button remapping came to the PlayStation 4 earlier this year via the 2.50 firmware update.
Microsoft confirmed the news in a tweet, saying that remapping is "coming for all controllers soon." On the PS4, the feature has proved useful not just for muscle memory reasons and for players to get a potential leg-up on the competition, but also for those with physical disabilities who might not be able to comfortably push certain buttons.
Button remapping was previously confirmed for the Xbox One Elite controller. At a price of £129, it wasn't exactly a cheap way to get access to the feature. The controller does, however, sport a number of other niceties to justify its price tag, including the ability to swap out the d-pad and analogue sticks, as well as paddles that can be programmed to take the place of any input on the controller.
While Microsoft did not confirm when remapping would deploy to all controllers, the new Xbox One experience is due to launch this November. It brings with it the highly anticipated Xbox 360 backwards compatibility feature, as well as an overhaul of the frustrating Xbox One user interface.
NEWS SOURCE: Xbox One to add 'button-remapping' to all controllers (via) ArsTechnica
Oct 03, 2015 - 12:33 PM - by garyopa
Windows 10 update is still coming in November on Xbox One, but some major 'apps' are not until 2016.
Microsoft’s Cortana app won’t be making the jump to the Xbox One until 2016, according to the company’s Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson).
Well good news, Windows 10 is still coming to your Xbox One later on this holiday season, the bad news is some major apps will be missing, first Edge was delayed until 2016, now Cortana also will not be talking to you or helping you out with you daily life until later on in 2016 also.
So are you upset that Cortana will be missing from your Xbox One, and has it become part of your daily life, is the virtual her from Halo helping you out, making your life better, or have you found it totally useless and could not care less if it comes to XB1 or not?
The digital assistant had previously been expected to arrive in the major software for the console update scheduled for November.
That update is still happening - and Microsoft continues to add more beta testers to the new Windows 10-powered Xbox One experience - but Cortana won't be part of the mix this year unless you're one of the early testers of the software. "For those who have asked about Cortana, our plan is to add Cortana to the Xbox One experience preview later this year," says Hryb. "From there, we'll ensure that the experience is tuned for gamers before we officially launch Cortana in 2016."
Microsoft wants its digital assistant to follow you everywhere you go, hence its expansion from Windows Phone to Windows 10 desktops, Android and iOS. After all, there's no point putting reminders and important information in Cortana if the app isn't around when you need it.
With Windows 10 code making up the core of the next Xbox One update, Cortana integration was a natural progression, and Microsoft has already shown off how the new app will work in several demos. It's not certain what's caused the delay but it sounds like it needs some tweaking before it's ready for millions of gamers to start playing around with.
The new update due next month pares down the home screen interface, adds a trending section (to show off content popular on the Xbox network) and makes media content easier to navigate around. It's also going to mark a broader roll-out for the backwards compatibility feature that lets you play a selection of older Xbox titles on the latest generation hardware. A revamped Xbox app for Windows 10 is also in the works.
NEWS SOURCE: Cortana won’t arrive on the Xbox One until 2016 (via) DigitalTrends
Oct 02, 2015 - 10:21 AM - by garyopa
'The dependencies between the services needs to be minimized.'
Microsoft's Xbox chief Phil Spencer acknowledged a major annoyance that's plagued the Xbox One game console since launch.
Xbox Live been going down alot recently, and one of the problems when it does you can do anything with your console, even stuff like NetFlix stops working, even tho its not an Xbox Live service, and Spencer says that is one of the major problems with the Xbox One, the different parts need to be re-designed so they don't need Xbox Live to be fully working, for the apps and features to work correctly.
And funny thing soon after this news was published lsat night on The Verge, the Xbox Live network went down again, and just recently started to get back up and running, so its starting to become a common problem these days with Microsoft and their network.
Responding to The Verge's Tom Warren today on Twitter, Spencer said the Xbox One needs to be able to separate the Xbox Live online gaming network from the rest of the device's media features.
Because the Xbox One's online feature set is tied to the Xbox Live network, the not-so-uncommon Xbox Live outage brings the entire console offline. That means that while you may be able to stream Netflix on your phone or laptop, your Xbox One has to wait for Microsoft to bring the Live system - mostly designed to let you play online multiplayer games - back online before the console can be used to stream video or surf YouTube. It's not an ideal situation for owners of the Xbox One who use the console as the entertainment hub of their living room.
While Spencer didn't elaborate on any concrete fixes, his transparent response shows Microsoft is aware of the problem and may address it down the line.
NEWS SOURCE: Xbox chief acknowledges how bad Xbox Live outages are (via) TheVerge
Sep 30, 2015 - 1:33 PM - by garyopa
Classic Survival Horror Makes a Comeback on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in Syndrome due out in Q2 '16
Inspired by old-school survival horror, the newly revealed Syndrome strikes a perfect balance between 'alright, I can totally take this thing down' and 'oh God please don't look in the locker.'
There was not many good survival horror games on the previous generation compared to the golden olden days of PS2 and original Xbox, but now it seems the forgotten genre is coming back to our new generation of consoles, and hopefully with much better graphics.
So what do you think of the return of the 'survival horror' games on our new consoles, will it work out and become popular again?
You wake up on a spaceship, dazed and confused from the effects of cryosleep, and begin to search for the rest of the crew. Where could they have gone? All too suddenly, you discover that most of them are dead, and those still alive are... changed.
With Syndrome, Camel 101 takes first person survival horror back to its roots. In the dark confines of the ship, defending yourself is difficult and not always possible. There are a few weapons scattered about, but nowhere near enough ammunition to deal with all the transformed monstrosities.
To survive and uncover the events that took place while you were asleep, you can't always face your enemies head on; sometimes hiding and breathing as noiselessly as possible is your best course of action.
Careful resource management is a key part of Syndrome, but so is learning your enemies' behavior. What will attract their attention? What will give you a few precious seconds to pass by undetected? Take note-each misstep could be deadly.
- Claustrophobic horror-Countless threats, both physical and psychological, await inside the ship.
- Fight or flee-Use weapons and ammo wisely, as they are in limited supply.
- Eerie exploration-there's plenty to discover if you take a moment to search your surroundings.
- Nothing is what it seems-It's up to you to find out what's really going on aboard the ship.
- Reactive enemies-Cause a stir or make some noise and they'll pick up on your location.
- Oculus Rift support-Experience total immersion with Syndrome in VR.
Camel 101 is pleased to partner with Bigmoon Entertainment on Syndrome, out Q2 2016 for Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4, Mac, and Linux.
Find out more about Syndrome at http://syndromegame.com/
and help Greenlight it on Steam.
Sep 29, 2015 - 3:11 PM - by garyopa
Cough up the Dough for being a Bully in China
Microsoft Corp. and its Chinese partner known as BesTV in an Xbox game console venture have been fined by China's commerce ministry for breaching antitrust rules.
The Chinese Govt. has been recently looking into how Microsoft does its business in China, and one of the antitrust cases has now been solved finally with a slap on the wrist for bending the rules, and this one is in regard to the new joint venture to market the Xbox One, in the red star country after they recently lifted the 14-year console ban, and open up the free market to actual companies whereas everything before was underground, grey market with no actual sales figures or promotions by the companies themselves in China.
Of course Microsoft will just brush off this slap on the wrist as normal cost of doing business and move on, now maybe they can focus on how to get the sales of the Xbox One in China to increase, as right now even with over a billion people sales are worse then Japan.
The complaint finds Microsoft and a Chinese partner named as Shanghai Oriental Pearl Media Co Ltd, or BesTV, in trouble over antitrust problems because of the way that they combined to potentially dominate a hungry Chinese market with official hardware after a decade-plus technology embargo.
The information kind of dries up there, but we have asked Microsoft and its Xbox PR people to cough up the Redmond take on what happened.
Reading between the lines we assume that Microsoft and BesTV tied up the market so that they were in pole position when it came to local sales opportunities. That is speculation.
Reuters, which finds itself much closer to the facts than us, said that the firms were ticked off with a fine but spared a significant spanking because what they did had little or no effect on competition.
This has rather taken the shine away from the good news that was the extended sales market for the Xbox and other games consoles. That was revealed in January 2014 and was welcomed by the games market and presumably piracy-averse local gamers.
This may not be the last punch thrown at Microsoft from the Chinese corner, as there is something else going on with an antitrust theme at the moment. Microsoft's offices in China were subjected to a number of raids this summer. These are suspected to be concerned with the company and its alleged monopolistic practices.
NEWS SOURCE #1: China hands Microsoft administrative fine over Xbox venture (via) Reuters
NEWS SOURCE #2: Microsoft fined in China over Xbox and antitrust problems (via) TheInquirer